The First US Bank

Business
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By USABR.

Saturday, January 7th. During the Revolutionary War, the rebelling colonies and the Continental Congress were anything but too big to fail. To the contrary, finances were very spotty and precarious. To help put affairs in order and make credit available, the first commercial bank in the U.S. opened on this date in 1782, just a week after being chartered by Congress. Called the Bank of North America, it was capitalized at $400,000, which roughly would be over $7.5 billion today. The names of founding stockholders read like a list of our Founding Fathers: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, John Jay, and John Paul Jones. Today there are over 93,000 commercial banking establishments in the U.S., employing nearly 1.6 million people. You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy’ mobile application at www.census.gov/mobile.

Sources:
Anniversary/accessed 10/28/2016: http://www.on-this-day.com/onthisday/thedays/alldays/jan07.htm
Bank of North America/accessed 10/28/2016: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401800363.html
1782-2016 inflation calculator/accessed 10/28/2016: http://www.in2013dollars.com/1782-dollars-in-2016?amount=400000
Commercial banks and employment/County Business Patterns/NAICS 52211: http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/BP/2014/00A1//naics~52211

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down menu).

 

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